Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page


Thameslink 2000: Inquiry Decision

Lord Shore of Stepney asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Hayman: My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions has decided to defer until 25 September the date by which he must reach a decision on whether to hold a public inquiry into Thameslink 2000 (the "operative

13 Mar 1998 : Column WA89

date"). This does not mean that there will necessarily be a further delay of six months in taking forward this application; the decision could be taken at any time up to 25 September.

Adult Males: Income Statistics

Lord Monkswell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What proportion of the male population between the ages of 16 and 35 years are in receipt of incomes above the threshold of income support/family credit for a family with two children under five years of age.[HL779]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): It is estimated that in 1995-96, there were 7.4 million adult males (with and without children) between the ages of 16 and 35 years in Great Britain. Of these, 66 per cent. were in receipt of incomes above the threshold of income support for a family with two children under five years of age and 44 per cent. were in receipt of incomes above the equivalent threshold of family credit. Notes: 1. Figures are for the financial year 1995-96 and come from the Department's Households Below Average Income (HBAI) series, based on the Family Resources Survey (FRS). The FRS data was used to achieve a large enough sample size to provide more robust information. All results are subject to sampling error. The benefit rates also relate to the period 1995-96. 2. Sixteen to 18 year-olds who are in full-time education are not included in this count. Some students are not covered by the Family Resources Survey. 3. The income measure used was net unequivalised individual income, with child benefit and one parent benefit discounted when calculating those above the family credit threshold. Income is that reported as accruing to the man; income attributed to any partner is ignored. 4. Threshold has been defined as the level of income at which entitlement to the benefit runs out. 5. The income support threshold was calculated to be £115.15 per week, comprising the rate for a couple where both are over the age of 18 (£73), the family premium (£10.25) and £15.95 for each dependent child. 6. The family credit threshold was calculated to be £170 per week, comprising the adult credit of £45.10 (assuming the adult is working less than 30 hours per week), £11.40 for each dependent child and then adjusted for the 70 per cent. taper.

Welfare Benefits to Poorest

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government

    Further to key fact 4 in The Case for Welfare Reform (Department of Social Security, 15 January), what heads of social security expenditure account for the fact that the share of social security benefits going to the poorest 20 per cent. has fallen since 1979.[HL654]

13 Mar 1998 : Column WA90

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: The information available is set out in the tables. The proportion of benefit received by those in the bottom 20 per cent. of the income distribution has declined for both means tested benefits and for contributory benefits since 1979.

The incomes of those in the bottom 20 per cent. of the income distribution have remained constant in real terms, after housing costs have been taken into account, whereas average incomes have increased by 42 per cent. and the incomes of the top quintile have increased by more than 50 per cent.

Expenditure on pensioners is now less likely to be received by those in the bottom quintile of the overall income distribution. This is because pensioners are much less likely to be in the bottom quintile. This movement of pensioners up the income distribution has partly been caused by the increasing numbers of low income people of working age, displacing pensioners at the bottom of the income distribution. In addition, the incomes of low income pensioners have risen by more than the incomes of low income non-pensioners. Increased receipt of disability benefits has helped to boost pensioner incomes.

The proportion of Social Security expenditure received by individuals in the bottom 20 per cent. of the income distribution by type of recipient

Share received by people in the bottom 20 per cent. Proportion of total Social Security bill received by people of each type
Type of Recipient19791994-9519791994-95
Pensioner49205447
Working age in a workless household74571329
Working age in a working household15193224
All4230100100

Notes:

1. In this table, a "pensioner" is someone living in a benefit unit where all adults in the benefit unit are over state pension age; "Working age in a workless household" recipients are people living in a working age benefit unit where all members of the household in which they live are out of work; and "Working age in a working household" are recipients living in a working age benefit unit where at least one member of the household is in work.

2. The information is calculated from survey data where individuals report which benefits they receive.

3. Income is the standard Households Below Average Income measure--household net equivalised income after housing costs.

4. The survey covers the private household population. People living in institutions, hostels, bed and breakfast accommodation and the homeless are not covered here.

5. The income distribution refers to the whole population income distribution and not the income distribution for each type or person.

6. Estimates are based on the 1979 and 1994-95 and 1995-96 Family Expenditure Surveys and are subject to sampling error.

7. 1994-95 refers to the 1994-95 and 1995-96 financial years combined.

8. Income has been adjusted for household size and composition (equivalisation) but no adjustment has been made for any additional "needs" of disabled people.


13 Mar 1998 : Column WA91

The Proportion of Social Security Expenditure Received by Individuals in the Bottom 20 per cent. of the Income Distribution by Benefit Category

Share received by people in the bottom 20 per cent. Proportion of total Social Security bill accounted for by each type of benefit
Type of Benefit19791994-9519791994-95
Means Tested71561431
Contributory42196550
Other20182119
All4230100100

Notes:

1. Components of each category are:

1979

Means tested benefits--supplementary benefit, rent and rate rebates, family income supplement.

Contributory benefits--retirement pension, invalidity benefit, unemployment benefit, widow's benefit, sickness benefit, maternity allowance.

Non-contributory, non-means tested--war disability pension, attendance allowance, child benefit, housewives non-contributory invalidity pension, non-contributory invalidity pension (predecessors of SDA), industrial injuries disablement pension, invalid care allowance, mobility allowance, Christmas bonus, any others reported.

1994-95

Means tested benefits--income support, housing benefit, council tax benefit, family credit.

Contributory benefits--retirement pension, invalidity benefit (1994-95), unemployment benefit, widows benefit, sickness benefit (1994-95), incapacity benefit (1995-96), statutory sick pay, statutory maternity pay, maternity allowance.

Non-contributory, non-means tested--war disability pension, attendance allowance, child benefit, severe disablement allowance, industrial injuries disablement pension, invalid care allowance, disability living allowance, Christmas bonus, any others reported.

2. Income has been adjusted for household size and composition (equivalisation) but no adjustment has been made for any additional "needs" of disabled people.


13 Mar 1998 : Column WA92

Peanut Allergy

Lord Onslow of Woking asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are satisfied that general practitioners in England and Wales are aware of the Department of Health's recommendation in May 1994 that all patients suspected of suffering from peanut allergy should be referred to a specialist clinic.[HL961]

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Baroness Jay of Paddington): The Chief Medical Officer's Update No. 2 (May 1994), which includes this recommendation in advice on the management of peanut anaphylaxis, was sent to all doctors. There is also other information available to general practitioners on peanut allergy and its management. In October 1994, the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Pathologists jointly produced guidelines on Good Allergy Practice: standards of care for providers and purchasers of allergy services within the NHS. Guidance on anaphylaxis and its treatment appears in the British National Formulary, which is issued twice a year to all general practitioners, and has been featured in Prescriber's Journal (1997, Volume 37 No. 3). The treatment of individual patients is a matter for the professional judgment of the clinicians concerned.

13 Mar 1998 : Column WA91



   Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page